So you may have noticed that we’re no longer open early in the mornings and that we’re not serving takeaway coffees. We’ve also put our takeaway food services on hold as well. Unfortunately, we’ve had one our neighbours raise concerns with the council about our our takeaway services, saying that these don’t fit inside our business parameters. The council's decision landed in favour of our disgruntled neighbour and, reluctantly, we’ve had to accept their ruling for the time being until we can find a way to rectify this. If you want a little more information on this issue than read on.
When we arrived on the industrial estate here in Tumut we had to do a lot of petitioning and put in a lot of hard work to get what’s called "cellar door permissible" for ourselves. This allows us to produce food and beverage in an area where you’re typically not allowed to produce food and beverages. The council agreed to give us permission to serve food as an ancillary part of our business. The important word is ancillary. It means providing necessary support to the main function of the business. We serve beer so food is the next logical step, yet we’re always going to serve more beer than we do anything else. Beer is why people come to us, we just now happen to provide food and coffee also and it didn’t matter what you came into the brewery to get, we were allowed to serve it. As long as the primary service did not change.
Our business was assessed as a whole when regarding what we serve, however this has now changed because the owner of, Trowels Takeaway, the greasy spoon down the road, has taken issue with our takeaway coffee business and has visited the council complaining about our coffee service. On the basis of the recent ruling, each individual transaction should be assessed for what services it provides rather than having our business assessed as a whole.
The owner of Trowels came into the brewery several times telling us that we shouldn’t be here, that they were promised we would never be allowed to exist and that our existence was destroying their business. They went as far as sitting out the front of the brewery, taking photos of our customers leaving with coffees, to take to the council as evidence for their claim.
We do feel sorry for them if they are struggling as that is a terrible place to be in, however we’re struggling too. We've also invested a lot of money in our business and deserve to trade uninhibited. Truth be told, the current owners of Trowels purchased the business (previously Bakes Takeaway) after we were already trading. We didn’t look for a way to inhibit their trade (when they took over) we just looked for ways to improve our services and produce, we focused inward, worked hard and hoped we could work together. We still believe that these two businesses compliment each other and offer vastly different products, services and experiences.
As a result the council have changed our business parameters, and this change would be almost impossible to implement with us needing to record peoples reasoning for every transaction, especially if there were no beers on the transaction. Essentially if we serve takeaway coffee or food to you and you don’t get a beer we’ll have to somehow prove that you came in here to see our brewery and then decided that you wanted to grab a coffee to-go. Otherwise we can’t serve you our non-beer takeaway products.
As frustrating as this all is, we hope that time will sort it out, we’re not happy with these new conditions -obviously- but we have to comply. We’re also really not happy with the attitude of our neighbour, and although we understand where they’re coming from we find their handling of the whole situation pretty disappointing.
Hefeweizen is a straw coloured, usually hazy beer which is very attractive when served in the traditional Bavarian hefeweizen glass in the summer sunshine. Hefeweizens are made with at least 50% wheat in the mash and are not found to be brimming with hops, the flavours mainly come from the yeast instead. You see “Weizen” means wheat (you might remember that from our Dunkelweizen article) and “hefe” means yeast. These, as said, are the main two flavour components of a hefeweizen and the yeast used adds distinct clove and banana notes. Making these beers the perfect, easy drinking beverage in the sunshine.